These days I often have dreams of running. I haven’t been able to run for a good while since being knocked down by Mr. Lyme. The last time I ran was the day I crashed hard afterwards and knew something was seriously wrong.
The running dreams are usually beautiful. I’m running effortlessly with unlimited energy and I’m just running and running, landscape flying by.
I dream of it because I loved running in real life. I don’t seem the running type and I never thought I’d run on a regular basis, I just didn’t like it well enough.
One day I decided to try running a trail in the woods. That was a game changer — there’s something special about bounding around amongst trees and other things of nature.
Then I decided to go barefoot. After some adjustment, it became bliss. The feel of raw earth under my feet was ancient, a harkening to our past when bare feet were all we had. It felt so familiar and so grounding, connecting directly to Mother Earth in her essence.
It’s a meditation but of a more alert kind because one has to be aware of where their feet is landing when going bare. I’ve still bloodied my toes once or twice on hidden roots and it was a surefire way of bringing me back to reality.
(When on rough (or unfamiliar) trails or when I really want to zone out I’ll throw on a pair of old boat shoes. They’re thin, flat, and have a couple holes — as close as it gets to being barefooted.)
Nature and/or barefoot running sold me and I started doing it on a regular basis, really looking forward to it at the end of long days. It makes me breathe deeper, not just in the lungs but also in my soul.
I also started feeling even better and stronger over time, old pains and issues falling away as my body became more lean and agile. It was further motivation to keep going.
In my last dream, I ran and ran until there was nothing left of me, body gone, just my soul floating away.
As I walked a trail this afternoon, that’s what I thought about — how I missed running, the feeling of flying over the ground. Running until there’s nothing left but the purest essence who we are in spirit.
That’s what keeps me going, slowly climbing the recovery hill until I can run again, soul free once again. It’s my goal to get back into the best shape of my life and stay there.
Maybe after all, I was born to run… in the woods.